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Thursday, March 7, 2024

Since 1998, the Industrial Commission through R98-1-04 based upon State ex rel.  Russell v. Indus. Comm. 82 Ohio St. 3d 516, 696 N.E. 1069(1998) has consistently ruled that when temporary total compensation is terminated based upon a finding of maximum medical improvement the appropriate termination date is the date of the termination hearing.  Thereafter, Employers have the right to recoup any overpaid amounts paid after that date.

On March 6, 2024 the Supreme Court in State ex rel. Dillon v. Indus. Comm., Slip Opinion No. 2024-744 overturned Russell, ruling that pursuant to statute, an injured worker is not entitled to temporary total compensation between the time they are found to have reached maximum medical improvement and the date of the termination hearing.

Dillon, the injured worker, filed a mandamus action asserting that the overpayment caused by her temporary total compensation being terminated two months prior to the SHO hearing should be vacated.  Dillon relied on Russell to argue that a finding of maximum medical improvement can only be made at the termination hearing. 

The Court specifically noted that R.C. 4123.56(A) provides a prohibition on injured worker’s receiving payment after attaining maximum medical improvement. If TTD payments are made after the claimant reaches maximum medical improvement, then the claimant is not entitled to them.

Practical Application:

Under Dillon, Employers should be arguing termination of temporary total compensation as of the date of the report of maximum medical improvement.   Payments of TTD through the date of the termination hearing would be subject to overpayment and recoupment provided by R.C. 4123.511(K).   From a practical standpoint Dillon has insured that overpayments will likely be larger with the earlier termination date.

While it is impossible to know the practical effects of this case, it will arguably have an impact on termination of light duty and the subsequent payment of TTD.  In relying on Dillon, it is conceivable that an MMI examination prior to termination of light duty would limit the subsequent request for temporary total compensation or have it denied in its entirety.

This again underscores the necessity of prompt extent of disability examinations to limit the length of temporary total compensation. 

Lisa Patterson: Super Lawyer 2024

Monday, January 15, 2024

Lisa Patterson has once again been selected as Super Lawyer for the year of 2024.  Lisa has been selected as a Super Lawyer every year from 2013-2024.  She joins a select group of  only 5% of the top attorneys  who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their field.

Congratulations Lisa! 

Not every workers’ compensation claim requires the help of an attorney. But if you need one, choose experience, reputation, and most importantly, someone who understands how you do business.

LL Patterson LLC is founded on the principle of providing clients with exceptional and results oriented service. The singular mission of LLP is to aggressively and exclusively protect Ohio Employers’ rights in workers’ compensation, OSHA, VSSR, and employment related issues. Whether you’re in the medical or healthcare industry, the construction field, education, the corporate world, or small business, the goal remains the same: to reach final closure of your workers’ compensation claim in as little time as possible while minimizing cost.

Lisa L. Patterson understands the complex intricacies of the Ohio workers’ comp system and has sixteen years experience working with this very specific and sensitive form of law. A seasoned Ohio employers’ advocate, she will work to ensure that all parties’ claims are fairly and efficiently executed to protect your interests and assets.